Care For The Soul

By Melodious Monk

One of the oldest members of our community died this past week, her name was Marny. A monastic tradition that we hold at the Community of Jesus is the observance of a prayer vigil when one of our members dies. After the wake, the coffin is brought to the church where it remains until the funeral service the following day. As we hold vigil with the body, we pray for the soul of the faithful departed, that they may be granted eternal rest in their heavenly home.  We take turns through the night to pray for our friend until she is laid in the ground at her final earthly rest. 

While praying for Marny I was asking myself, isn’t this watch care over each others’ souls something we should do for each other every day? Its not just the faithful departed that need our constant prayer, but those we live and work with each day. Jesus teaches us this in his commandment — you shall love your neighbor as yourself. If I want my friends in Christ to help me when I can’t see what might be a stumbling block in my life, I’d better do my best to pray and help them as best I can, for surely I’ll need the return favor!  Vigilantly caring for each other is the best sacrifice we can make for one another, and a way to love Christ in each other. It’s this unified body of Christ that allows us to show love, and it’s this love that allows us to catch hopeful glimpses of Christ’s eternal kingdom which is to come.


This entry was posted in Body, Soul, and Spirit, Church, Friends, God, Hope, Households and Community, Jesus, Love, Monastery, Prayer, Preparing by Melodius Monk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

2 thoughts on “Care For The Soul

  1. Dear Brother
    I completely agree with you. Praying for each other and keeping a loving watch over each others souls is one way we can “love your neighbor as yourself”. Perhaps I react this way because I feel that to travel the road alone would be a fearful thing. I would surely falter and perhaps fail.
    Knowing that I have so many faithful friends in Christ who love me through their prayers is what makes it all possible. The love and support I find at the Community, for instance, is such a blessing to me.
    (I often think about the fact that Jesus gathered the disciples to travel with him from the very beginning of his ministry)

    God bless you for your faithfulness,

  2. Praying for one another while here on earth is so important. Your post has reminded me that I should do thid more. Thank you.

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